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The country is badly affected by natural disasters.
Located in South-East Asia, the Philippines archipelago is one of the most vulnerable regions on the planet in terms of natural disasters. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions cause substantial losses and extensive damage. Typhoons are very frequent and their secondary effects – landslides, flooding and flash floods – are devastating. Typhoon Haiyan hit the country in November 2013 and left 8,000 people dead and 15 million affected in some way by the disaster. During the two decades that preceded Typhoon Haiyan, natural disasters had already killed more than 31,000 people and affected 98 million people in the Philippines.
As in many developing countries, non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease also pose a serious threat and are one of the causes of disabilities in the population.
In the Philippines, poverty is not just a rural phenomenon. There are major inequalities between different regions and socio-economic groups. The poorest provinces are those of Visayas and Mindanao, but poverty is also very acute in the southern regions of Luzon.
The Philippines has ratified the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Legislative measures have been adopted since 1982 and a major law to protect people with disabilities was promulgated in 1992. It emphasises their right to participate fully in society and to access training and employment, education, health and social services and public transport on an equal basis.